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The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition launch at Lord's

Wow, what a week!

As we head in to Easter, it's great to see cricket being played outside again at Lord's, albeit with a bit of drizzle and gloom now and then; well, it is the start of the season, what d'you expect from the English weather?

A bit different from the glorious sunshine in Coventry last Saturday (April 4) at Highway CC's NatWest CricketForce event, a very invigorating way to start the week and head in to summer.

Highway CC - NatWest CricketForce 2009 - Mike Thornton Nicky Shaw

Highway are main event

Just like at a lot of clubs countrywide, the people at Highway are totally dedicated to improving their lot, and it was a pleasure to meet them and see - and video - their projects at first hand.

The winter seems to have flown by. Just then it was Christmas and England were soon off to the Caribbean. Now it's April, and we're launching a new season at Lord's. And what a season it promises to be. Hence the need for some joined-up thinking to promote all aspects, from top to bottom of the game... enter The Great Exhibition.

If you haven't noticed the coverage across the media this week, then human wagon wheels on the Nursery Ground won't mean much to you. So have a look at the photos and video from what turned out to be a very special day at Lord's, not least because of the huge involvement of fans from right across the country.

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As far as ecb.co.uk is concerned, that's meant a whole new section of the site to back up the offline campaign online. It's key to everything that will happen this summer. And to get it off with a bang, there's also a pretty decent competition.... npower Ashes Series, Oval, late summer, big day out.... worth a look...

The Great Exhibition - Desktop Application

The biggest digital component this week has been through the launch of the new desktop app; it's in Adobe AIR, it should work nicely for all, and it'll help enrich your cricketing experience, so I really would recommend a download and try-out over Easter.

News, video, live scores, match and event dates, all in one handy, shiny black TGE app. And the key difference to just browsing ecb.co.uk is the ability to personalise your experience. Want just women's cricket news, and scores from Essex's matches? Fine, you can get just that. Want video on ICC World Twenty20 alone? Go get it. Want to know just what's on, on and off the field on July 17.... a couple of clicks and you're there. We think version 1.0 is good, we'd love to know what you think so we can make version 2.0 even better further down the line. And it'll still provide key links through to the site so we don't lose touch!

No doubt your thoughts are already turning to the big matches ahead.... England v West Indies, whatever your country is making their best efforts in the ICC World Twenty20, and definitely not last and least, the big one... the Aussies, the battle for the Ashes. In a bid to be interactive in a slightly different way, we're going to allow you to put together your messages of support for the England team, or any other team.... get them on camera, and get them shown to the world.

The TweflthMan Van was unveiled, with it's funky new artwork, at Lord's this week. And it'll be travelling around England and Wales during the summer. Full dates to be confirmed very soon and on the site (and in the app...). So get ready to talk, sing and have a good time... and we may be seeing you here on the site very soon.

Talking of TwelfthMan, another new venture this week, a TwelfthMan Podcast. It'll be c.30 minutes every Wednesday; and bringing you some real insight into the game. We kicked off in style with the England captains, men's and women's, and several other top players from the Lord's launch event. And some fans there on the day too. It should evolve to become a real vehicle for the fans' voice as the summer progresses. And from our side it won't just focus on the England team, there'll be time to take in a multitude of domestic cricket, recreational games, and more leftfield off-field events too.

Following on nicely from that, if you Twitter, you'll be interested to know we have a couple of Twitter feeds you can hook in to now - one bringing the best news and core info from around the game, and one from TwelfthMan with some behind-the-scenes insight.

We've revamped the Official England Cricket page on Facebook too, so go and have a look and become a fan so we can keep in touch with you that way.

And while we're in that vein, we're upping the content we publish to our YouTube channel too; so if you'd rather get your cricket video there than on ECBtv or here in the many video players on ecb.co,uk, please do.

Enjoy the summer of cricket ahead; and we hope you enjoy it here with us on ecb.co.uk too!